Arch Dis Child Educ Pract Ed 98:7-15 doi:10.1136/archdischild-2011-301530
  • Best practice

The treatment of imported malaria in children: an update

  1. David Burgner2,4
  1. 1Department of Paediatrics, Centre for International Child Health, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Australia
  2. 2Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, The Royal Children's Hospital, Parkville, Australia
  3. 3Paediatric Infectious Diseases Unit, Department of General Medicine, The Royal Children's Hospital, Parkville, Australia
  4. 4Paediatric Infectious Diseases Unit, Monash Children's, Southern Health, Clayton, Australia
  5. 5Department of Infectious Diseases, Great Ormond Street Hospital, London, UK
  6. 6Health Protection Services Colindale, London, UK
  7. 7St. George's University of London, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Karen M Kiang, Department of Paediatrics, Centre for International Child Health, University of Melbourne and Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, The Royal Children's Hospital, Parkville, East Level 2, The Royal Children's Hospital, 50 Flemington Road, Parkville, VIC 3052, Australia; karen.kiang{at}
  • Received 9 May 2012
  • Revised 10 October 2012
  • Accepted 13 October 2012
  • Published Online First 20 November 2012


Since the 2010 publication in this journal of a review of the management of imported malaria for UK children, new evidence for the treatment of both severe and uncomplicated malaria has been published. This review discusses these new data and expands the scope of the previous review to include non-endemic countries outside of the UK. The results of the AQUAMAT trial in late 2010 and other studies have prompted the WHO to recommend that intravenous artesunate be used preferentially over quinine for the treatment of severe malaria caused by any Plasmodium species in both adults and children. Oral artemisinin-based combination therapies have also shown equivalent (if not better) efficacy in the treatment of uncomplicated malaria caused by all Plasmodium species (including chloroquine-resistant P vivax) in both adults and children, though there are issues regarding the availability of artemisinin-based combination therapies in many non-endemic countries. In these instances, conventional therapeutic regimens continue to be efficacious. Lastly, the use of primaquine for hypnozoite and gametocyte eradication is discussed.

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